More on Davis and the Defense

Posted: July 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 85 Comments »

Yesterday’s post about Bill Davis and the defense generated some good discussion in the comments section. Some of you wondered why the defense can’t be a top unit, even with Kelly’s playing style. There was also talk about what the expectations should be for the defense.

I’ve written about this a few times. If you go back to last year’s Eagles Almanac, which I assume all of you bought (right???), I wrote in there about how the defense would need to be looked at beyond just yards and points. Yards per play is a stat that should be looked at. Points per play is a stat that I don’t think anyone keeps track of but maybe someone should. Takeaways are critical. Situational defense is critical.

The Eagles were dead last in the NFL in time of possession last year. They played the most snaps on defense. You simply can’t post great numbers in that type of a situation. Can you be a great defense if you don’t post great stats? That’s an interesting question. I lean toward “no” because you would need to have some crazy good unusual stats in order to make that argument.

Cincinnati and New Orleans were the only 2 teams to finish in the Top 10 in offensive and defensive yards. They were 2nd and 3rd in the league in time of possession. The offense and defense worked in concert. The Saints defense came out of nowhere to have a great year. Give Rob Ryan and his guys credit, but also recognize that they faced the fewest plays in the entire league (943). That is 207 fewer plays than the Eagles. It is the equivalent of playing 3 less games. If you look at yards per play, the Saints defense comes in 10th overall while the Eagles are at 20th. In terms of yards, the Saints were 4th and the Eagles 29th. Welcome to the new NFL.

Chip Kelly is an offensive coach. The team is always going to be slanted to the offense. So it is interesting to wonder how good the defense can be. Kelly has put resources into the defense so it isn’t like he’s ignoring it. Kelly wants a defense that can help the team win games. And really that is the key. The Eagles need a defense that works for them and what they do.

At Oregon Kelly had a defense that was among national leaders in takeaways, Red Zone defense and sacks. How did the 2013 Eagles do in those stats?

* The Eagles had 37 sacks, which was 20th in the NFL.

* The Eagles had 31 takeaways, which was tied for 3rd in the league.

* The Eagles were 12th in the league in Red Zone defense.

You can see that the team can do what Kelly wants. Improving the pass rush is a key. For a team that played with a lead as much as they did, 37 sacks isn’t enough. The Eagles did get good pressure at times and forced  several intentional grounding calls, but they still need more sacks. They need to punish opposing QBs.

This is where Marcus Smith, Travis Long, Joe Kruger and Taylor Hart come into play. They should offer better depth. One of the ways to help a pass rush is to send waves of players after the QB. Fresh legs can make a difference in the 4th quarter of a game. Having better competition and depth at CB also should help the pass defense.

The defense has the potential to do what Kelly needs. We have to wait and see what kind of progress the unit makes.

* * * * *

While we did see progress in 2013, we do have to point out that the defense still had some hiccups. Matt Cassel and Kyle Orton lit the team up. That’s not good.

And there were some favorable circumstances. The Eagles didn’t have to face Aaron Rodgers. They played Calvin Johnson in a blizzard. Eli Manning had a nightmare season. RGIII was struggling in a major way.

I think there are reasons to be optimistic, but let’s be careful as well. The defense still has a long way to go.

_


  • Dominik

    Off topic, but nevertheless: enjoy

    http://overthecap.com/best-worst-contracts-2014-dallas-cowboys/

    On topic:

    Two good posts about the Defense and Davis, Tommy. Fair and balanced. And a good point about the Saints TOP, since they were the team I was first thinking of when we talk about a top Offense and Defense.

  • mtn_green

    Really excited about the defense. The front seven played out of their minds, but in a sense reliable. You knew that the RB wasn’t gonna get more than three yards.

    I don’t know how much better the secondary can be with continuity, quite possibly significantly better. Even in the secondary you rarely saw someone running free.

    Guess 2011 and 2012 set the bar pretty low. Davis has a scheme based on real simple fundamentals, DL two gap, ILB fill remaining holes. The scheme is so simple it will make creative, exotic blitzes easier and more effective. Those simple roles, DL engage find ball, toss OL aside get ball carrier, safety only defends pass, allows for creative disguised plays to occur.

    In the end chip is going for a gambling defense that is always going for the takeaway, but stops the run first.

    I think this year we will see more exotic blitzes and generate much more pressure. Eagles didn’t even have a fourth db, and at times no decent 3rd cb to put on field.

    • anon

      getting players to learn fundamentals was huge but also a good part about executing a new scheme, gotta break it all the way down.

    • Jernst

      Totally agree! Spot on! Our problem with pass D was easy first down passes on 3rd and long. Fix that and were a top ten d that will give up plenty of total yards due to play number but will lock down the run and create turnovers.

  • RMB1969

    “Give Rob Ryan and his guys credit, but also recognize that they faced the fewest plays in the entire league (943). That is 207 fewer plays than the Eagles.”

    A good defense is going to get off the field a lot more often on third down. So a good defense is going to face fewer plays as a result of being good.

    • anon

      yeah RR crushed it last year.

      • Anders

        I was really surprised how good that defense played last year. There is a reason why Jimmy used to make fun of him, because it seemed he only got jobs because of his father and brother.

        But he really turned that defense around (funny how Jordan was a misfit as a 4-3 DE, but a terror as a 3-4 1 gapping DE)

      • http://twitter.com/sitko77 Mark Sitko

        why can’t he get fired so he can take over Billy’s job – that is the best DC in the league right there…making his daddy proud

        • Anders

          You are thinking Rex Ryan, not Rob Ryan

          • Bert’s Bells

            Yup. Rex knows what he’s doing. Last year is the first time Rob’s fielded an above average defense. Maybe he did one year with the Raiders too, but, the Raiders.

    • Toby_yboT

      You beat me to it. A better stat would be yards per drive, or per opponents possession (same thing). I’m still chewing on how this would be affected by field position. It still would not be perfect.

    • John Paine

      I wouldn’t go so far as to put no blame on the offense. But I definitely agree with you. I think that with Patrick Chung gone we’ll be playing a lot more press coverage with our corners, and a lot of those underneath passes on 3rd-and-long that turned into first downs because the corners were too far off will go away.

      As for blaming the offense, I don’t think the pace is the problem. I just think we need to be more efficient. I think that’s what Kelly’s obsession with big receivers is all about. On 3rd down, when everybody’s covered, you can toss it up to a big body and be confident that he’ll come down with it and keep the drive going. Even 2 or 3 extra plays a drive will make a nice dent in that ToP. Add 2 or 3 LESS plays per drive on the defensive end, and suddenly that ToP disparity is a thing of the past. I’m not saying that this would make them “great”, but it could certainly make them at least “pretty good”.

    • Ben

      I wholeheartedly agree. Our defense will be better, if nothing else than for continuity’s sake.
      Once you learn it, then you don’t have think nearly as much in year two.
      I see Kendricks, Meco, and Cole, Cox and Logan all playing a more intense defense now that they have a chance to play in the same scheme with the same coaches.
      I think we get alot more of those 3 and outs this season.
      Also, I am looking for a big improvment on how we defend first downs.

  • http://twitter.com/sitko77 Mark Sitko

    I have been going back and re-watching the season to waste time waiting for training camp – my biggest take away is how much better the D is than I remembered. In the big wins – like the Chicago game – sure our offense put up 40 points, but we SHUT THEM DOWN defensively n the first half. And that happened a lot, in multiple games. 3 and out – we score – 3 and out, we score again. I was very impressed with the play calling especially on 3rd downs.

    I say all this to argue that even without the special stats on D I think we can be a great defense – if we shut people out for 2 quarters a game there is no way they can beat us with Chip’s offense running up the score – that is GREAT enough for my own definition – any D that leaves the offense no chance to win is “Great” in my books…I say this year we may even be great already, cuz we were pretty good last year – and very likely in another year or two we could be dominant – In Billy We Trust!

    • Ben

      Agreed, but in reality I could live with the defense giving up 40 points a game as long as our offense scores 41. A win is a win is a win.

  • Sean Stott

    I want Rex Ryan and I want 1-gap defenders. 2-gapping is for the birds. Fat, immovable birds. We’re wasting Cox, Curry, and Logan on 1st and 2nd downs.

    • Bert’s Bells

      With the right footwear, Sexy Rexy can be all yours.

    • anon

      we do have sanchez which is a big draw. maybe that’s ck’s 3 year plan

    • Media Mike

      Or if one wants to 2-gap, perhaps getting a larger NT would be a must.

  • Iskar36

    I definitely agree that the way our offense plays, our defense is going to see significantly more plays than an average defense, so total yards and total points allowed are not ideal statistics. Having said that, yard per play and points per play go to far in the opposite direction. Thy statistic assumes that ALL the blame for the number of plays our defense faces is due to the pace of our offense and ignores the possibility that the defense is allowing for longer drives. A better statistic (and one that I believe is kept on one of the advanced metric sites, maybe PFF) is yards per drive and points per drive. In addition, plays per drive would be a valuable statistic. Those stats together would give a better indication of how well the defense is playing without the issues of us facing more plays due to a fast paced offense AND without ignoring the possibility that the defense is not a factor in the number of plays faced.

    In addition, if we are going to acknowledge the fact that compared to some teams, we are playing two extra games worth of plays, we can’t just use a “per play” or “per drive” metric to compare stats that we want less of (yards allowed or points allowed) and then not acknowledge the same thing for stats we want more of (sacks and turnovers). The fact that we were 3rd in the league in terms of total takeaways is good, but again, our defense faced more plays than any other defense. I’d be interested to find out were we would rank if it were also measured per drive

    • TommyLawlor

      Interesting points.

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    I think to be a great 3-4 defense, you need fantastic athletes at LB who are comfortable in the system. I’d say this season, the Eagles should either show improvement on D, or Davis should be looked at carefully in terms of his ability as a DC.

    • Dominik

      “or Davis should be looked at carefully in terms of his ability as a DC.”

      Why? You say it yourself: “you need fantastic athletes at LB who are comfortable in the system”

      We don’t have them. That’s not Davis fault.

      • Anders

        Barwin, Smith and Kendricks are all great athletes, it is of course not Davis fault that Cole, Graham and Ryans are slow as hell and cant really run

        • Miami_Adam

          To be fair, I think he means OLBs, and more specifically, pass rushing OLBs. Barwin is a great athlete, but pass rushing isn’t his strength. Smith is a rookie. Cole and Graham are kind of examples of the problem (sorry guys, I still love you both). I agree with Dom that Davis doesn’t have the ideal players to run his system–we need those freak athletes who can rush the passer. Hopefully Smith can start to fill that void.

        • Dominik

          Barwin is an athlete, but no great pass rusher. We have to wait and see with Smith, hopefully you’re right. Kendricks is undersized, but yeah, a great athlete. The 34 especially needs freakish athletes at OLB and you wrote about Cole and Graham yourself.

          • 76mustang

            Connor Barwin had 11.5 sacks in 2011 – just because he’s not asked to rush the QB doesn’t mean he can’t – he had 10 passes defended last year (most in his career) – If Trent Cole and Marcus Smith can handle coverage duties this year, we will likely see Barwin used to rush the passer more this season…

    • Tumtum

      Are there now fantastic athletes at LB that were missing a year ago?

  • Anders

    My biggest surprise with Davis and the defense is that we all thought we would use the 4-3 under on our way to a 3-4 2 gap. Im really wondering if Kelly and Davis never wanted that or they just thought at some point doing TC that it would be better just to go 2 gap straight away

    • Neil

      I feel pretty sure that it was never wanted that. Our only basis for that assumption was that Davis ran it in ARI. In reality, it’s pretty stupid to waste any time teaching anything but the defense you want players to grow into.

      • mtn_green

        In hindsight was it smart to convert all the way to a 2 gap Dline?

        • Anders

          If it is what Kelly wants, yes. Also Fletcher Cox would often align 1 gap while Thornton and Logan was 2 gap

          • anon

            yeah i think Beli runs a hybrid scheme like that.

        • Neil

          Well, for the first year, maybe, maybe not. They took to it quite well after the first half of the season. But the dividends are gonna be coming from here on out. We would be where we were last season if we did that, basically. There’s not a lot of carryover between 1 gapping and 2 gapping, even if they both look like a 3-4.

        • Ben

          If your going to switch to a 3-4 defense, you really want to teach the players how to play your specific version of the 3-4 from day one.
          This way, the faster they can learn and execute it, the faster we can improve. IMO.

      • Anders

        It was also a combination of what Davis had done last and some comments from Kelly and Davis about them moving from 4-3 to 3-4. They said we would move towards it, but not sure how fast it would go.

  • OregonDucksFan

    Mr. Lawlor, please read this article

    http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2014/01/13/eagles-wake-call-demeco-debunks-tempo-theory/#more-2023801

    and stop blaming the Eagles’ offense for the Eagles’ defense’s inability to get itself and the opposing offense off the field, leading to more snaps faced by the Eagles defense and more ToP by Eagles opponents.

    The Eagles “too fast” offense resulted in the Eagles defense facing only a league-average number of drives. However, because of the Eagles defense’s poor performance preventing first downs (tied 30th in the NFL), preventing third down conversions (24th in the NFL), and forcing 3-and-out drives (30th in the NFL) those drives were LONGER = more snaps faced by the defense and more ToP for opponents. NONE of that is the fault of the Eagles offense, or the pace of the offense.

    For comparison, the Saints defense was FIRST in the NFL in fewest first downs allowed, 9th in the NFL in preventing 3rd down conversions, and FIRST in the NFL in forcing 3-and-out drives. That’s why their defense faced fewer snaps and their opponents had less ToP, because the Saints defense got stops and terminated opposing drives.

    The Eagles defense will play better this year. They will prevent more first downs, prevent more 3rd down conversions, and force more 3-and-out drives. That will result in shorter drives by opponents, resulting in fewer snaps faced by the defense and less ToP by opponents/more ToP for the Eagles, even though the Eagles offense will play as fast or FASTER this year than they did last year.

    • anon

      Rob Ryan vs Billy Davis?

      • Tumtum

        Ryan has had a few good defenses but what has he really done?

        • CrackSammich

          He’s had a few good defenses.

          • anon

            that’s funny

    • suthrneagle

      I read the comments section 1st. I looked to see if Mr. Lawlor is“ blaming the Eagles’ offense for the Eagles’ defense’s inability to get itself and the opposing offense off the field, leading to more snaps faced by the Eagles defense and more ToP by Eagles opponents“.
      I don`t find it.
      He even states“ NONE of that is the fault of the Eagles offense, or the pace of the offense.

      but thanks for the article

      • OregonDucksFan

        Sorry. After having this discussion countless times with fans who blame the Eagles dead last ToP on the tempo of the offense, when I see the phrase “even with Kelly’s playing style” followed by “The Eagles were dead last in the NFL in time of possession last year.
        They played the most snaps on defense. You simply can’t post great
        numbers in that type of a situation.” it causes a PTSD kneejerk reaction. My apologies to Mr. Lawlor.

        Maybe it was Jimmy Kempski who blamed the Eagles low ToP on the uptempo offense…

        • Mac

          When in doubt, blame Kempski…

      • Ben

        The way Tommy wrote his article, one could surmise that he is somehow “blaming the offense”.
        Well Ge-whiz, if your offense can score like our offense scored last season then who cares?
        Of course I would love to see great stats by our defense every season but when you can score in 90 seconds, I am willing to take the bad with the good.
        The Eagles D got better IMO the moment they cut Chung.
        Even though we switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4, they were good enough to win the division.
        I think Kelly wants a defense that can hold opponents to 1 point less than whatever our offense gives us.
        That’s a win for the team and that is truly all that matters.

    • SteveH

      So formal. Please, call him Tommy.

    • GEAGLE

      Heck.,,just the fact that our big CBs have the safety play behind them to press on 3rd down, should make us much better…we signed CBs who we couldn’t let play their game, which is press because we didn’t have the horses at safety behind them…that’s all going to change this year. better performances from our corners who will play to their strengths this year…better blitzing team…Cox,Curry taking that next step as pass rushers…
      ..
      The only thing stopping us from being a top defense is 3rd down conversion rate.
      ..
      Last year we were really good against the run and we will be better this year
      ..
      Last year we were really good at causing Turnovers, we should improve this year..
      ..
      Last year we were strong defensively in the redzone..that should only improve..
      .
      last year we often did great work on first and second down forcing a ton of 3rd and long’s, and QBs torched our safeties. Improve the 3rd down conversion rate, and you will have all the defense we need
      .,
      Youth, lack of NFL experience, Lack of experience in the scheme all sucks…but the good part is, if you have quality coaching and players that care, work hard and gel as a unit, you get to see Drastic improvements as your core players go from rookies, first and second year players to more mature NFL players,,, we were so young and inexperienced, that your can expect a higher degree of improvements than you can from a veteran defense that has been playing together for years…defense was much better than people thought last year and we should see major growth these next two years as it gels and guys bodies and minds mature.

  • troy412

    People yes we are a 2gap defense. But if you watch your games carefully we run 1gap to that’s why Davis say were multiple when the front shifts there changing there techniques we use 1gap and 2gap .Second half of the season they switched up 50-50 Talent is there only problem was really saftey with Jenkins and another year in defense everything will be better and Davis will utilize his personnel a whole lot better and see atleast top ten defense

    • Sean Stott

      But it makes zero sense to play Cox, Curry, and Logan as two-gap defenders when they are all three clearly better at 1-gapping.

      • troy412

        You two cap for the run our run defense was bad before chip and two gap is made to stop the run as we all remember what one gaping did against the run in the wide nine linemen went flying by the running back

      • GEAGLE

        Such a ridiculous yet popular statement… Cox ranked as one of the top rated 3-4 DEs last year in the NFL, and it was the first time ever playing in that scheme using the different techniques it requires… I don’t even give two craps what Curry does against the run, because you can count on him being a PROBLEM this year on 3rd down for opposing OLines…
        ..
        Kruger has more pass rush potential, than Thornton, Logan, Gaethers, Square…we won’t get a consistent dose of it from him in his first year, but his pass rush talent will flash and in 2015 he should be a productive member of the 3rd down pass rushing rotation.,.
        ..
        Marcus is only a rookie, but by the end of the bye week we should see him start to make his presence felt on 3rd down..
        We should see the best blitzing defense we have had since JJ passed away

        • Ben

          I agree 100% Curry’s gonna beast up this season.
          I can’t wait to see him blasting through O-lines this coming season.

  • BobSmith77

    If the Eagles are relying upon the likes of Smith, Long, Kruger, and Hart to come in and give them meaningful impact in passing situations, they’ll be on the field for a lot of drives.

    No front 7 was more healthy than the Eagles last year and I don’t see this defense forcing & recovering as many turnovers this year either. One reason why I wanted the Eagles to gamble on Byrd & his health at safety. Better depth this year especially in the secondary but it still strikes me as a very vanilla defensive scheme with a vanilla group of players & coordinator.

    As for offensive tempo & defense, it kind of reminds me of the early 90s and the Oilers who always were on the field a ton of time too due to the ‘Run & Shoot’ offensive the Oilers deployed with 4 WRs. Oilers’ defense played a more aggressive scheme (Buddy Ryan was the coordinator) and always seemed to wear down in the 2nd half. The Oilers’ defense though had a lot better talent though up front than this defense especially the DE (Jones and Fuller) along with better LBs and secondary too especially at S.

    • GEAGLE

      Cox and Curry will be a menace on 3rd down..
      ..
      We will also be a really good blitzing team In my mind,,Kendrick a fantastic Blitzer will only be better, Our physical CBs can blitz, Boykin can blitz..and Malcolm Jenkins is the reigning top ranked safety at rushing the QB… The improvements to this pass rush will be evident, they will just come as a team, instead of from one or two OLBs,,..doubt we see an eagle OLB with 14 sacks this year, but our pass rush by committee should provide a much better rush than last year

  • Media Mike

    Did I miss the column, or has Tommy yet to put up the promised analysis of our failure to defend the Saints in the playoff loss. I think I remember his referencing a future work coming on that topic, but I may I missed the actual work. I was really looking forward to reading it.

    • RobNE

      you should get a free subscription until Tommy keeps his promise

      • knighn

        Free subscription to Eagle Almanac? Will there be a 2014 volume?!

      • Ben

        lol good 1

    • knighn

      Seconded. If Bennie Logan was to blame, Bennie Logan was to blame. It doesn’t mean that he’s going to turn out to be terrible, just that he had a bad game at a bad time.
      If it was something else, fine. I just want to know why the Eagles couldn’t stop a QB sneak if their lives depended on it. Was it because Patrick Chung was on the field? Was it due the general suckitude that comes from having a NFL team with Casey Matthews on the roster?

      • CrackSammich

        The interior OL on the Saints is/was the best in the league. The other guy gets paid, too.

      • GEAGLE

        Numbers say.,saints had most of their success against the Thornton and Barwin side, who are our best run defenders last year..

        Most of their yards were on THorntons side, than Logan, and then Cox’s side gave up the least amount of yards

        • knighn

          Good stuff, thanks!

    • Birds4Life

      Here is a link to something you are looking for.

      http://www.thechipwagon.com/eagles/2014/01/the-nose-in-the-coffin.html

      But I don’t know why anyone would think that our rookie NT would be able to handle 2 probowl guards though. The guy was playing in his first playoff game and didn’t even play the whole year leading up to that point. But because he didn’t play like an MVP, he is no good? On the last play shown, Billy D. doesn’t really give the rookie any help. Let the kid develop a little before passing judgement on him.

      • GEAGLE

        Funny part is the strength of our run defense was the side with Thornton and Barwin and that side gave up more rush yards against the saints than Logan gave up in the middle…saint had the most success against our best run defenders Thornton and Barwin, yet fans are crying because our rookie NT, playing the weakest he will ever be, couldn’t outplay SB champion probowl interior linemen in his first ever playoff game.. Lol fans are nuts..

        • Birds4Life

          Yeah I don’t get why people expect rookies to step in and play great right away. And if they don’t play great their first year, then it was a wasted pick. Like you said, he has been in the sports science/smoothy porgram for a year and has added 10 lbs of muscle. He will look a lot different this year. I bet Logan plays alot better this year with that weight, not getting pushed around and still being fast enough to chase players down from behind or running sideline to sideline.
          People also forget that it usually takes 2 years to switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4. The defense as a whole is going to improve because players can just react and not think so much out there.

      • Media Mike

        Thank you. In general I’m just looking to assign blame for losing a game that we shouldn’t have lost.

        • Birds4Life

          Yeah, I understand that no one here likes to see the Eagles lose especially in a playoff game. Everyone watching the game knew what the saints were gong to do at the end of that game. But after the dumpster fire that was the 2012 season, it was going to take some time to turn this team around. As long as the team is moving in the right direction we all just have to have a little patience.

      • knighn

        Great stuff. It’s only year 2 of the Chip Kelly / Billy D program. We’ll have to see what the future holds here.

  • Media Mike

    What I don’t like about our D in general.

    - The lack of a mid to upper teens sack guy at OLB
    - The lack of a dominating zoo animal size NT
    - The lack of appropriate size at ILB, especially if we lack size at NT
    - The lack of impact from the safety position

    I’m curious to see what improvements towards these needs occur this year.

    • Anders

      Agree on OLB
      Go watch the what size NTs have in todays game, you seem stuck in 1970.
      Again go watch what size ILBs have in todays game
      Agree, but front seven is more important than safety

      • Media Mike

        Is Wilfork from the 70s? Ngata?

        • Anders

          Wilford is the best NT of the last decade, fuck the Eagles for not having a HOF NT.

          Ngata have played DE more than NT the last many seasons,

          The big and athletic NT you want, is the rarest player to find in the draft.

          • GEAGLE

            Wilfork should be an eagle tho…. Dumb to draft Shawn Andrews instead of him.. The knock was his heart wasn’t in football, surprise surpise he is out of the league for years now and Wilfork is still playing

        • D3FB

          Red Bryant was the 5 tech in Seattle. Mebane who is the nose is 6’1 311lbs.

          BJ Raji plays primarily DE for GB.

          Ngata plays a minority of snaps at NT.

          Kenrick Ellis is a backup.

          Monster NT’s are the norm anymore.

          • GEAGLE

            Correct..look around the league at quality war pig sized NTs like Phil Taylor! and all their snaps are at a career lows and that’s only going to continue decreasing

            Eagles will usually be playing with Leads, WTF would we do with a 340NT who can’t move? And short yardage situations we added 330lb Beau Allen…what more do you want man? Unless you get a top pick, you ain’t landing a Marcel Darius who is HUGE, but also gets pressure on QBs…

      • Media Mike

        As far as smaller ILBs go, I wasn’t happy with ours in coverage last year considering we were abused by 800 year old over the hill TEs.

    • D3FB

      A mid to upper teens sack guy? So 12.5 or more sacks? I’m pretty sure the entire league would like that guy considering only: Mathis, Quinn, Hardy, Super Mario, and Cameron Jordan put up 12.5+ sacks last year.

      Also LB’s aren’t 6’4 265 lbs.

      Ryans: 6’1 247lbs
      Kendricks: 5’11 239lbs
      Bowmann: 6’0 242lbs
      Kuechly: 6’3 239lbs
      Willis: 6’1 240lbs
      Burfict: 6’1 248lbs
      Wagner: 6’0 240lbs
      David: 6’1 233lbs.
      Poszluzny: 6’1 242lbs
      Timmons: 6’1 234lbs
      Harris: 6’2 250lbs
      Cushing 6’3 249lbs
      Washington: 6’2 238lbs
      Lee: 6’2 234lbs

  • anon

    pat chung was on first take talking about how foles is the truth.

    • Sokhar20

      Hope he knows quarterbacks better than he knew his assignments.

  • Mac

    21 points. That is the benchmark as far as I’m concerned. If Billy Davis can keep other teams at or below 21 points then the defense is working properly. I’d also like to see us stay up around 30 turnovers per season that would be nice as well.

    • Media Mike

      I’m with that! I’d also like to see Eli knocked out as well.

  • GEAGLE

    Think this defense will be a lot better than many Philly fans seem to think…then again, I said that all last summer too…1-0 so far :)

  • Ben

    Glad you wrote about our defense again as I think we have improved(at least on paper).
    Tommy mentions that we would need to have some “crazy good unusual stats” and that is exactly what Chip did with our offense.
    Not only is he a great offensive mind but when you referenced how good his defenses were in College, one can only project that he will have our defense improving as well.
    He has a great Football mind and while I can agree that it is slanted toward offense, there is no reason not to believe that Chip can also help turnaround our defense as well.
    Call me an optimist but Chip has me believing he can do just about anything Football, relative to coaching.

    • GEAGLE

      Not just Chip but the defensive staff is no joke,,,friggin college coach Azzinaro convinced a bunch of pro DL to hit the sled every single day all year long when Pro teams aren’t doing it as much as us…the cumulative effect of hitting that sled more than every one else all year long should absolutely pay dividends,,,
      ..
      Coach Minter is a brilliant football mind who has coordinated entire units..now all his expertise is focused on two ILBs…
      ..
      Coach McGovrn is a fantastic coach to entrust your OLBs to..

      I’m not familiar with the secondary coaches…but we have some amazing minds with TONS of experience coaching our front 7…and we have a bunch of hardworking talented young players who like each other and are pushing each other every day…. Peope predicted a historically bad defense last year, and we were much much better than everyone thought…yet I think you see more improvements defensively in year two than you do in year one….
      ..
      Should be a good year defensively, but next summer I expect the eagles defense to be considered top 10 going into the 2015 season, regardless of Chips offense…

      I think it will be much tougher to convert 3rd and longs against us this year and that will make all the difference in the world

  • GEAGLE

    So many factors point to an improved defense this year..

    Heck, just our ability to disguise our intentions presnap better than last year, will have a HUGE effect…young players bodies maturing, game slowing down mentally so they don’t have to think and can put all their athletic ability on display.. Just our defenders getting to work on technique all offseason because they don’t have to learn the scheme this summer should make a ton of difference…